First Hit #1: February 3, 2001
It Wasn’t Me is funny, but it’s not quite a novelty song. Sure, the lyrics kind of paint the singer as quite stupid – really, she caught you banging on every surface of the house and you still kept on doing it? – and the counter argument is consistently hilarious as the evidence gets increasingly damning. It is, in all ways, an exceedingly silly song, about a situation that becomes increasingly absurd as the song goes on. Still, it’s not a novelty single because it’s actually a quality pop composition as well as being a funny track. It’s mostly RikRok that gets the credit here, he provides the main hook and Shaggy’s rapid-fire delivery obscures a lot of what he’s saying, making it so RikRok also tells almost the entire story. But there’s more here than the joke, the interplay between the performers and the absurdly catchy absurdity that makes up the chorus make it an excellent bit of pop songcraft. That it also happens to be funny is a bonus.
That is what separates a novelty single from a funny pop song. This would be enjoyable without the joke, it’s a pretty great bit of pop reggae that also happens to have a great joke included.